Why is Stormwater a BIG Problem ?
What is Stormwater?
Rain is essential for our natural systems, supporting the growth of plants and trees, replenishing ground water that we drink, and cleaning the atmosphere of pollution from burning fossil fuels. Rain water becomes “stormwater” when it hits water-resistant surfaces like roofs, driveways, parking lots and roadways where it can't be absorbed into the soil, so it runs off into the streets and storm drains, eventually ending up in the lagoon. If it were pure rainwater when it entered the lagoon, it wouldn't be a problem.
Unfortunately, stormwater picks up pollutants along the way to the lagoon: Dirt from your roof, fertilizer from your lawn, oil from your driveway and streets, lawn clippings, leaves, soil, etc. As our communities grow, the additional roads, driveways, sidewalks and parking lots make it much easier for rain and sprinkler water to quickly go straight to our natural waterways. So all this water carrying pollutants make stormwater a BIG problem for the Lagoon.
So how big a problem is stormwater for the Lagoon?
Compared to sewage spills and septic leaks, stormwater is a major source of nitrogen pollution in our Lagoon. So what is being done to fix the problem? The County and City Stormwater Utilities are responsible for maintaining our stormwater systems, but that has primarily been installing and repairing stormwater drains, pipes and canals. The Save Our Indian River Lagoon(SOIRL) Tax dollars help fund projects that remove some of these unwanted pollutants from the stormwater before it enters the Lagoon. Projects like this Baffle Box is used to filter out debris from storm drains.